The FCC issued a Report and Order Nov. 5 abandoning its “two-phase” approach to spectrum relocation of 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) channels needed to make way for new Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) and other potential users of the spectrum.
According to the Report and Order, the decision to move directly to phase two of the relocation “simplifies what would otherwise become a complex relocation procedure with minimal attendant benefits.”
The Commission found that maintaining its existing two-phase relocation scheme would likely create an imbalance between not imposing an unreasonable burden on MSS and providing a relocation procedure that was fair to incumbent BAS users. “Given the subsequent developments in the 1990-2025 MHz band, our decision to initiate Phase II more effectively meets this goal,” the Commission said in its Report and Order.
The Commission’s revised requirements for the relocation of BAS in the 1990-2025MHz band include:
- Relocating BAS incumbents in all TV markets to the final (Phase II) plan at 2025-2110 MHz, eliminating the interim (Phase I) channel plan that was part of a two-step approach to relocation;
- Retaining mandatory relocation of all BAS operations in markets 1-30 before new MSS in the band begins;
- Amending the rules so the one-year mandatory BAS negotiation period for markets 1-30 and the 10-year sunset period begin with publication of the Report and Order in the Federal Register;
- Making mandatory relocation of all fixed BAS stations on channels 1 and 2 nationwide before launching new MSS in the band;
- Declining to require reimbursing relocation expenses for BAS facilities for which initial applications were filed at the Commission after adoption of the MSS Second Report and Order;
- Modifying the final (Phase II) BAS channel plan to provide seven 12MHz channels and a 500 kHz data return link (DRL) band at both ends of the seven channels;
- Permitting BAS licensees to operate indefinitely on their existing 17MHz-wide channels in the 2025-2110 MHz band on a secondary basis;
- Clarifying that an assignment or transfer of control does not disqualify a BAS incumbent from relocation eligibility.
In the same Report and Order, the Commission also addressed relocation of Fixed Service (FS) 2GHz spectrum users, such as the telephone industry and emergency communications providers, to make way for MSS and others.
For more information, please visit: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-280A1.doc.